San Francisco, CA, MARCH 17, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that its titles dominated the entire Manga category in the most recent listing of the New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller List for the week ending March 7, 2009. The massively popular NARUTO occupied 7 of the Top 10 spots, with other widely read VIZ Media manga titles BLEACH, BLACK CAT and shojo manga THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † impressively rounding out the list.
The complete Graphic Books Best Seller List (Manga) follows below:
1. NARUTO, Vol. 40, by Masashi Kishimoto
2. NARUTO, Vol. 41, by Masashi Kishimoto
3. NARUTO, Vol. 38, by Masashi Kishimoto
4. NARUTO, Vol. 39, by Masashi Kishimoto
5. BLEACH, Vol. 26, by Tite Kubo
6. NARUTO, Vol. 37, by Masashi Kishimoto
7. NARUTO, Vol. 35, by Masashi Kishimoto
8. THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE †, Vol. 9, by Arina Tanemura
9. BLACK CAT, Vol. 19, by Kentaro Yabuki
10. NARUTO, Vol. 36, by Masashi Kishimoto
The List is also viewable on the New York Times web site at:
“It’s extremely gratifying to see the continued strong performance of BLEACH and NARUTO alongside other unique properties like BLACK CAT and GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † which all have been recognized by the New York Times on its Manga Best Seller List,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & Product Marketing VIZ Media. “BLACK CAT, BLEACH and NARUTO feature the captivating art, multi-layered character-driven storylines and plenty of edge-of-your-seat action that epitomizes the best attributes of the manga genre. The popularity of THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † continues to show the momentum behind the shojo category (comics for girls), which offers romantically tinged titles aimed at a sizeable segment of female readers.”
BLACK CAT (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) Train Heartnet, also known as “Black Cat,” was an infamous assassin for a secret organization called Chronos…until he abandoned that cold-blooded existence to live on his own terms as an easygoing bounty hunter. But is Train’s past as far behind him as he thinks? Find out in this action-packed series created by Kentaro Yabuki.
BLEACH (Rated ‘T’ for Teens)
Creator Tite Kubo’s massively popular supernatural action-adventure manga series centers on Ichigo Kurosaki, a fifteen-year old student with the ability to see ghosts. His fate takes an extraordinary turn when he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper who shows up at Ichigo’s house on the trail of a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul. Drawn to Ichigo’s high level of spiritual energy, the Hollow attacks Ichigo and his family, and Rukia steps in to help but is injured and unable to fight. As a last resort, Rukia transfers part of her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper, he joins Ruika to face the challenges that lie ahead. More information on BLEACH is available at: http://bleach.viz.com.
The Gentlemen’s Alliance † (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens)
Renowned manga artist Arina Tanemura created this acclaimed series that exemplifies the shojo manga style with highly stylized artwork and romantic plot twists presented with a swirl of billowing ribbons, romance and heartbreak. In return for a business loan of 50 million yen, the prestigious Kamiya family gave their daughter Haine away to the wealthy Otomiya family. Haine, now an Otomiya, is appointed to the student council of the exclusive Imperial Academy, a private school for the aristocracy. Even though Haine is of proper lineage to be on the council, she finds herself struggling to find her place among the many secrets of its elite members, especially those of the president who holds her heart – Shizumasa Togu, aka “the Emperor.” More information on THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † is available at: http://www.shojobeat.com/manga/sb_vols.php
NARUTO (Rated ‘T’ for Teens)
NARUTO depicts the adventures of a young boy named Naruto Uzumaki who trains to become a ninja, and through his exciting adventures, the young ninja learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong. Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and tees and more than 85 million copies to-date have been printed. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) has captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America. More information on NARUTO is available at www.naruto.com.
The latest volumes of NARUTO (Shippuden) pick up two years after Naruto left to train with Jiraiya. Now a teenager, he reunites with his old friends to find out everyone is stronger than before – and maybe even stronger than he is!
In response to the strong fan interest in NARUTO Shippuden, VIZ Media has launched an accelerated publishing campaign for upcoming editions of the series, making them available to North American audiences sooner than ever before. Between February and April, eleven new volumes of NARUTO manga will be released, moving the series from Volume 34 to Volume 44 before returning to a quarterly release schedule beginning with Volume 45 (July 2009). First print-run editions of the volumes released in March and April also will include a special promotional bookmark or sticker.
VIZ Media manga titles continue to captivate millions of readers across North America and are regularly featured on a variety of nationally syndicated Graphic Novel and Manga Best Seller lists, some of which include: 9 VIZ Media titles on the Bookscan Top 20 Graphic Novels for 2008 list, assorted VIZ Media titles featured on the USA Today Top 150 Bestseller List on multiple occasions, and more. Retail industry watchdog ICV2 recently included BLACK CAT, BLEACH, NARUTO and GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † among its Top 25 Manga Properties for 2008. NARUTO was also noted as the Number 7 most-searched term in 2008, as reported by the Yahoo! 2008 Year In Review Top 10 Search list.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.